Over the course of a two-hour late night block on Saturday, NBC offered Arcade Fire an unusual space to show off their new wares. A spot as the featured musical act on Saturday Night Live's 39th season premiere segued into a 30-minute special, Here Comes the Night Time, where the band showcased more new songs from their upcoming album, Reflektor.
For the SNL premiere, hosted by Tina Fey, Arcade Fire started off with its latest single, "Reflektor," which found vocalists Win Butler and Régine Chassagne calling out to each other over disco beats. At one point, Chassagne left the stage to sing inside a mirrored box, which reflected her image dozens of times.
After SNL, the special, which had been previously recorded "Live from the Salsatheque" in Montreal, began with Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler parading down the street, followed by a line of fairy tale creatures including a human-sized rabbit and a dancing skeleton. As he made his way up into the venue, he passed James Franco talking on a pay phone – the first of Here Comes the Night Time's many celebrity cameos.
More celebrities continued to drop in for oddball cameos: Bill Hader and and Zach Galifianakis called the band from what they claimed was space; Michael Cera, playing the part of a bartender, offered his co-worker a running criticism of the band as they played; two people wearing giant heads revealed themselves to be Ben Stiller and Bono. Rainn Wilson, Aziz Ansari, and Eric Wareheim also made brief appearances.
The Canadian rockers have released few details on the highly anticipated follow-up to their last LP, 2010's The Suburbs, but LCD Soundsystem mastermind and DFA co-founder James Murphy said the quality of the songs he worked on took any pressure off of him as a producer, and allowed him to suggest different approaches or ways of fine-tuning the material.